FISHING REPORT 09 April ’21

The offshore anglers managed to fool a good couple of bigger couta, the bass have not disappointed and the shore angling has had plenty of variety.

Ray’s tip: Floats and foam can be the difference between catching and holding pole. Adding floatation to your bait can do many things to the presentation. Coloured floats can add that bit of attraction that the fish need to find the bait in turbulent water. Low-density foam adds body without adding too much lift which is great for flatfish baits. High-density foam adds plenty of buoyancy as well as amplification for rattles in the bait. This has made kob fishing much easier. Foam can also have a glow in the dark additive which makes it important for night time fishing. When the fishing is quiet or you are struggling for a bite while others are catching, add some foam and see if the added body/movement doesn’t bring you some luck.

Offshore:

The couta have been keeping the ski and boat anglers busy with most guys putting in a concerted effort to land a crocodile.

North – The north coast has seen most of the couta action. The smaller fish have made up the bulk of the catches. Rigging your baits at different depths has made it easy to find the depth the fish are feeding at. Rig one bait close to the surface (with only a bait swimmer) and rig the other bait with a 4oz sinker up the line. In deeper water, this can be switched out for heavier weight.  Umdloti has been producing very consistent results but the shark tax has been very high… Heavier tackle can help you get the fish in quicker but this is sometimes not enough. If the sharks are taxing you, it is better to move.

Central – The boats launching from Durban have seen some mixed results. The main targets have been tuna and couta. Most of the couta have been on the smaller side but some crocodiles have made it on to the decks. For these shoal couta, a sardine is a deadly bait. As long as they are good quality and have some shine, the darts will chow them. The bigger couta are a lot more discerning and require a fresh bait and excellent bait presentation. The baitfish are starting to make an appearance which is fantastic news! There have been shoals of red eye sardine and bonito around.

South – The south coast has had much the same results as the central coast with all the effort going in to targeting couta. The couta have been shallower than further north as well as being a bit bigger. These bigger fish prefer a larger bait so make sure to try a walla-walla, shad or bonito. The occasional tuna has also jumped on the same baits in the shallows. The exception has been the guys heading out to the shoal. There have been some beastly wahoo hooked on Aliwal but a lot of these have got the better of the anglers that were not prepared. For these bigger-toothed speed torpedoes, make sure you use thicker wire and a silky drag. The wahoo have mainly been hooked on live bonito so make sure you have your daisy chains and live bonito rigs ready to go.

Rock and surf:

The shore anglers have reported mixed results of edibles and inedibles. The gullies are doing well for scratching and the points are throwing some bigger fish, pick your preference.

North – Those looking for some decent edibles along the lines of speckled snapper, stumpnose and kingfish should aim for the reef/ledges in the far north. The areas around Sodwana and Cape Vidal are the most productive for these fish during summer. The water is generally crystal clear here so you should fish the more turbulent waters or the darker hours of the day (dusk and dawn). In terms of baits, you can focus on using prawn, chokka and fleshy fish baits. These areas can produce some very big inedibles as well so do not fish too light in the bricks. The honeycombs and sandies enjoy the rockier areas so target these spots with a FMJ trace, a 10/0 circle hook and a juicy fish bait. The open beaches along the north coast have produced some bigger inedibles as well with the deep drop-offs behind the sandbanks being the place to fish. Mackerel and bonito baits are the choice of most inedibles anglers and for good reason.

Central – There have been a mix of edibles along the Durban beachfront. Kob, shad and stumpnose have been the main species coming out but some others have been put in the mix. Smaller chokka and prawn baits have worked for most of the edibles with the exception of the shad that have favoured sardines as always. The area along the Addington hospital beach has produced a lot of shad in the mornings and evenings. The point at Blue Lagoon has produced a lot of fish on most days. Kob have been feeding well along the north bank so a well-placed cast on to the north bank will produce a quick bite.

South – Scratching has been the main method of catching fish along the south coast as most of the bigger fish have been very sparse. Some honeycombs have been landed but the fishing has been slow. The scratching on the other hand has been wild! The stumpies and bronze bream have been keeping the guys very busy. Most of the gullies and ledges along the lower south coast have seen big schools of bream. These fish are great fun on the lighter tackle so get your spinning rod and reel and you will be set for a morning of fun in the sun.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been good for all three facets. The bass are coming out of all the KZN dams with Hazlemere producing the goods. The carp are keeping the conventional anglers happy at Albert Falls and the trout are pulling backing off the reels in the Stillwater’s while showing off their colours in the streams.

Bass – Hazlemere continues to be the place of choice when it comes to numbers of fish being caught. This is the perfect dam to take someone who is wanting to catch his or her first bass. All they need is a light spinning set-up and a small selection of lures. This dam is located in the “countryside” so it makes for a beautiful day out; just make sure you leave before the hoard of jetski enthusiasts arrive and race around at top speed. These speedsters generally arrive as soon as the sun is up in the sky, so make the early trip if you want a nice peaceful morning. The lures of choice have been weightless flukes in dark colours along with a worm fished slowly on the bottom around the trees. Shongweni dam and Inanda have produced the bigger catches and the bigger individual fish. This might be due to the reduced jetski traffic or the reduced angling pressure. Some very good fish have come out at both venues to the guys fishing topwater frogs. This is specialised fishing and requires a heavy to extra heavy rods with braid. This is to pull that behemoth out of the foul structure that he lives in. Colour of the frog does not seem to be of much importance although everyone has their favourite. The braid enables you to pull as hard as you want and to be able to stop that bucket-mouth getting you stuck. The frogs work best in the early and late hours of the day and, as they are very weedless, you can (and must) throw them in to the heaviest structure you can find.

Carp – The conventional and specimen anglers have been doing very well at most of the dams but Inanda has been the most talked about. The sweet flavours are producing the results. Adding a fluoro powder to your mielie bomb mix has given some anglers the edge in the crowd. Fruity flavours have been particularly successful with banana being a personal favourite. Mixing a banana concentrate in to your mielie bomb will further add to the attraction of your bait. The fluoro powder also makes your baited area stand out and can often mean the difference between a bite and listening to other alarms going off. The specimen anglers have done very well at Inanda but the fishing has not been easy. The area you fish has been very important. Make sure you keep your baited area well stocked with a good mix of feeds and particles to keep the carp interested.

Trout – The trout have been gobbling all the new insects and plant growth that the warmer weather has brought. With the increase in sun exposure and the warmer water temperatures comes an increase in plant growth and subsequent increase in insect activity (hatching). This is a great time to keep your eyes open for hatches in the early and late hours of the day and have your dry fly at the ready to delicately present it to a fish sipping insects off the surface. Also, with the warmer weather a change to olive patterns is generally a good idea with the winter brown and black colours slowly losing favour with the fish. The season of trout fishing is still on a high so make sure to make the most of the leave you have and go bag yourself a beautiful rainbow or brown.

News from our Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB – “Summer … or what’s left of it … is keeping a toehold in and just doesn’t want to seem to let go completely just yet.  With some perfect, and still scorching, days in between the autumnal change … that is if you get early enough because along with the heat, generally follows a thunderstorm!  The storms have been lighter in intensity however, and luckily haven’t really affected the fishing … now is the time to get out there!

Reports from the river anglers indicate that the trout are “looking up” … happy days for the dry fly anglers.  If you happen to get a stretch of river that isn’t looking quite the best as you had hoped just yet, it’s always a good idea to head upstream in search of cleaner water, rather than heading home.  Being outside is always better than being inside…

Water temperatures are dropping nicely, with the rivers around 15deg.C and Stillwater’s now sub-20 degrees.  A good time to be out and about on trout water.

The Stillwater reports are a mixed bag of smaller fish (these will be from the Sept/Oct stockings), with some reports of bigger fish in-between … and of course those professing to having been “taken to the cleaners”.  The fish will start feeding up as the weather and water cools, the “submarine” reports have generally been as a result of big flies.  The maxim applies : big fly, big fish… J

Albert Falls Dam has apparently been on fire of late.  Michael Dickason of Kingfisher-PMB reports one of the best days fishing over the Easter weekend … one of those “cast-for-cast” days that we all yearn for.  Mostly smaller fish, but some good fish in-between of 1.5kg plus.  Michael was using a Reaction “Stinger” (salamander-style plastic) lure in Gold Dust colour.

A reminder that Albert Falls will host the second round of the Joey’s Towing Bass Angling Tournament Trail this weekend on 10 April … the event was moved from Midmar Dam, after Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife turned down the event application due to the ongoing COVID concerns.

For those still looking to get a last yellowfish fix, the Sterkfontein season will be drawing to a close as the water cools and the fish go off the bite.  Guide Mark Yelland is on the water for the next week, so we look forward to hearing what comes to hand.

With the currently rushing coloured waters in the lower stretches, no news incoming from the local scaly (Natal Yellowfish) anglers, nor the carp anglers.

The Midlands dam are all looking positively great at this time.  Midmar still overflowing at 100.5%, Albert Falls Dam over the halfway mark at 55%, Spring Grove approaching capacity at just under 96%, Mearns also overflowing at 103%, and Wagondrift Dam on The Bushman’s also at capacity at 100%”. Thanks Jan.

As always, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with all our new video releases and to brush up on your species   knowledge, tactics and tips/tricks

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Please remember to leave the areas that you fish in a better condition than when you got there. Take a few moments to pick up some litter and take it to the nearest bin.

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Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za

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